Dragon Con 2019 Guide: Parade, Celebrities, Parking

Two R2-D2s roll around the Hyatt Regency lobby at Dragon Con 2018 in downtown Atlanta, Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. CREDIT CORY HANCOCK / FOR WABE

Labor Day’s right around the corner. That means it’s time for pop culture enthusiasts’ massive hang out in Atlanta.

Dragon Con, the long-running fantasy, gaming, comics, film, and more convention, is expecting around 85,000 attendees from all over the world to descend upon downtown from Thursday, Aug. 29 to Monday, Sept. 2.

This year’s programming includes a little something for everyone and ranges from art shows to LAN Gaming.

Celebrities, such as George Takei from “Star Trek” and Lana Parrilla from “Once Upon a Time,” will also be making appearances at the convention, along with a long list of other guests. Fans can get photo opportunities and autographs with some stars.

Here are the key things you need to know before heading out to this year’s Dragon Con.

The convention is multifaceted. 

The five-day convention will be held in different areas of downtown Atlanta: AmericasMart Buildings 1 and 2, Sheraton Atlanta, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Hilton, Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

Get the autograph of celebrities you admire during the autograph sessions in the Marriott International Hall South. Some of the guests who are slated include actress Jamie Chung and fantasy artist William Stout.

Cosplayers, floats and enthusiasts will march down Peachtree Street NE in downtown during the Dragon Con Parade. Here’s the parade route, if you plan to watch the procession happening on Saturday at 10 a.m.

This year, Dragon Con is also expanding its esports content to include tournaments and meet and greets through the Skillshot Atlanta Open.

If you’re wondering what else to do, visit Dragon Con’s website and “choose your own adventure” by selecting a track that ranges from Apocalypse Rising to Video Gaming.

Artists will be showcased.

Visit Americas Mart in Building 2 to see the expansive Comic and Pop Artist Alley. More than 200 artisans, ranging from sculptors to painters, will be showing off their works.

Programming about comics and pop art will also happen within the space. To plan which booths you want to stop by looking at the floor map that can be accessed online.

Buy passes online.

Memberships for this year’s convention can be bought online through the Dragon Con website ahead of time. For access from Thursday through Monday, it will cost $140. For Saturday through Monday, it’s $120. It’s $70 for Sunday and Monday.

Daily passes for Thursday through Monday range in price from $15 to $50, depending on the day. Be sure to pick up your badge at the Sheraton Atlanta, 165 Courtland St NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. If you can make it to the event, streaming memberships can also be accessed through DragonConTV.

Plan transportation in advance.

Due to the high volume of traffic downtown for the convention, taking MARTA might get you to your destination faster. The MARTA Peachtree Center Rail Station is close to the Marriott Marquis and Hyatt Regency hotels.

Dragon Con’s recommends securing parking ahead of time through online services, ParkMobile and Parking Panda.

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